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Providing long-lasting relief to patients with dentin sensitivity

Date: June 2022

Author: Louise Sinclair

Dentin hypersensitivity can cause significant discomfort to sufferers and impact their ability to engage in everyday activities like eating, drinking, talking, and performing oral hygiene. While it is difficult to accurately determine the prevalence of hypersensitivity, we do know that this condition is very common across Europe, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada. This means that many of your patients could benefit from an effective, long-term solution. Here, we discuss how you can provide that with Pro-Argin Technology.

Dentin hypersensitivity in your patients 

Dentin hypersensitivity is defined as a short, sharp pain derived from exposed dentin in response to chemical, thermal, tactile, or osmotic stimuli, which cannot be attributed to any other dental defect or disease.

The most widely accepted explanation for dentin hypersensitivity is the hydrodynamic theory. It proposes that when dentin is exposed — due to, for example, enamel erosion or gingival recession — the organic smear layer that “plugs” the dentin tubules can be compromised. External stimuli can then alter the behavior of the fluid within these tubules, stimulating the pulpal nerve fibers that lie at the other end and causing the characteristic hypersensitivity pain. 

How Pro-Argin Technology provides lasting relief

Anti-sensitivity toothpastes generally work by occluding the dentin tubules, depolarizing the pulpal nerves, or both. Pro-Argin Technology uses an occlusive agent, the mechanism that research indicates is the more effective of the two.

Pro-Argin Technology combines arginine, an amino acid naturally found in the saliva, and calcium carbonate. When applied to the tooth, positively charged arginine molecules bind to the negatively charged dentin surface and attract calcium molecules, rapidly forming a calcium-rich layer over the dentin surface. The open dentin tubules are plugged, preventing fluid movement and the resulting hypersensitivity pain. 

The ability of Pro-Argin Technology to provide rapid, effective and superior relief from dentin hypersensitivity pain has long been established by clinical trials. Recent research conducted using confocal laser scanning microscopy has been able to quantify the level of dentin occlusion, with Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief toothpaste demonstrating 91% occlusion compared to just 67% from a competing toothpaste containing stannous fluoride. A further study by Hines et al. compared a Pro-Argin formulation to a calcium sodium phosphosilicate toothpaste, achieving 88% versus 50% occlusion respectively.

Thanks to the rapid action of the Pro-Argin formula, relief from hypersensitivity pain is almost instant. Two double-blind randomized clinical studies by Nathoo et al. and Ayad et al. compared Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief to a leading 2% potassium desensitizing toothpaste formula. Each study found that a single fingertip application of Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief provided significant immediate relief compared to the potassium formula.

The durable mineral layer created by Pro-Argin Technology remains intact even when exposed to acid attacks, providing long-lasting sensitivity relief. Docimo et al. observed a significantly greater reduction in sensitivity from air and tactile stimuli when compared to a potassium ion toothpaste, and noted that the effect was sustained at two, four and eight weeks of use. 

Where to find Pro-Argin Technology 

Pro-Argin Technology can be found in Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Toothpaste (Canada), Colgate Sensitive Instant Relief Toothpaste (UK) and elmex Sensitive Professional Toothpaste in Europe. 

Dentin hypersensitivity patients can also benefit from the rapid action of Pro-Argin Technology in the form of Colgate Professional Sensitivity Relief Serum (also available in the United States and sold as Colgate Anywhere, Anytime Sensitive Relief Serum in some markets). This fast-acting topical serum can be massaged into the affected area for relief from hypersensitivity pain in just one minute. You can recommend it to your patient for instant sensitivity relief on the go, or offer it to them in the chair to facilitate a comfortable examination or treatment.

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